Motivation and Responsibility

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mtdman, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    The "Where have they gone" thread kinda got me thinking about something that I've been chewing on for a while.

    I was watching American Choppers on NYE, they were doing the Dixie Choppe bike, I think. Paul Sr was complaining yet again about Paulie not having a sense of urgency about getting the bike done. I'm not exactly sure what he said, but basically he stated that he was the one that owned the business, that all the responsibilities of the business fell on him, and it was his job to make sure everything got done. Then he said something about Paulie not understanding that, and thinking he can do what he wants and take his time, dilly dally around, etc. Then he said That's the difference between someone who owns his own business, and someone who works for someone else.

    I couldn't agree more. Paul hit the nail on the head. When you own your own business, and you want to succeed, you work your ass off to make sure it happens. Whether that means working late into the night and busting your butt to get things off the ground, or riding employees to get them to work at an acceptable level. When I started, I spent all my time trying to make my business work. I worked a full time job, then went out all night long putting up fliers all spring and fall. I'd do estimate calls any time of the day, and all my spare time was involved with making the business go. My partner on the other hand, had a take it or leave it attitude. I had to drag him out to do estimates, he never wanted to work late, complained about not having time off, etc. Even untill the day he quit he never quite got the idea that when you are self employed, you gotta bust your butt trying to make things work. He never really had initiative to do things on his own, kinda always looked to me for instruction or what to do. It was obvious after the first few years that I was the one in charge and he didn't want much to do with the management side of the business. Now that he works for someone else, I think he's a lot happier. People tell him what to do, he works set hours, and when he's done for the day, he goes home and forgets about everything.

    Me, I've always hated being told what to do by people. I hate working for others, and I am always thinking about the business all the time. I sacrificed personal vacations and free time for a long time just to get things going in the business. Because it was more important to me to create something for myself than rely on others for pay. My goal was to build a business, not work for someone else.

    And you know, I've worked harder in this business than I ever have for someone else. When you are personally invested in something and want to see it succeed, you put more in. When I've worked for others, I do the minimum and that's it. For me, I bust my ass constantly because it's for me. But it's worth it for me to do that. Some people it's not worth it, they just want to put in their time and go home. Those people should not be in this business.

    I guess maybe that's why I'm not real fond of Paulie on American Choppers. I identify with Paul Sr more, because he's the person where the buck stops. He's responsible for all of it, and has to kick ass to get his son to work hard. To see Paul just sorta goof off and wander around so much, not have direction or sense of urgency because of business responsibilities makes me angry.

    Anyway, the bottom line is, whether you are in the business to mow lawns or program computers, owning a business is tough, demanding work. It's not meant for everyone, and if you aren't into hard work to build something of your own, stay outta it. Some people are meant to own their own, the rest are meant to work for others.

  2. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 997

    mtd - I think we would all agree with you about the boss wants to work hard and the employees have to be prodded, but come on... American Chopper? It's entertainment! Would you or anyone else watch the show if there wasn't conflict? Sure they are talented workmen, but they are also actors!
  3. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    The point wasn't about American Choppers.
  4. splatz100

    splatz100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 647

    Great Post!!
  5. newbomb

    newbomb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 391

    When I see this show I want to be talented or perhaps well trained with my hands. I would give anything to be able to create and fabricate things like they do, even if it were in a different medium. One thing that frustrates me when I watch is the other kid Mikey. He is a big lazy dope that has no Idea what an opportunity he has. Your point is well taken about work ethic even though my response is just on a slightly different aspect of the show.
  6. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    MTD, there's owner mentality and then there's employee mentality. I find myself complaining that employees don't take care of the tools, don't have a sense of urgency and just don't care like I do. Even my best employee doesn't do things the way I think he should all of the time. But you know what, that's what they are, employees. If they had the same mentality as you, they wouldn't be working for you.

    I have to admit, when I worked for someone else, I thought I was a great employee. Looking back, I would consider myself average. I had no idea what was involved in running a business, but I love it.
  7. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,724

    Paul Sr has his head up his own ass most of the time he becomes obsessed over nonsense like a few cups on the table and then the guy shuts down all work to the shop is cleaned. I don't agree with that if he really did care about his business he would be trying to get the jobs done as quickly as he could instead he causes as many delays as his son. I think Paulie knows his value and weather Paul Sr likes it or not his son is what gives the company its rep and mark on the world. Of course he’s going to do what he pleases the old guy can't see when some one works to 10 the night before they may be a little late in the morning. I love the show but in truth Paulie is a lousy employee and his father is not that great of a business owner either but they are fun to watch.
  8. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    Excellent post MTD,

    I have worked for corporate for twenty-one years, been unhappy with the plethora of crappola that goes along with that and am happy to relate I will be leaving that all behind Feb. 18th. I see waste of enormous financial proportions on a nearly daily basis, incompetents being ushered up the corporate ladder, and silliness in general that nothing on this earth or beyond could compare with. Don't get me wrong I am not so naive as to think a large corp. can run as a small business would, and some of these issues are necessary evils in the large corp. world. Thing is I have felt for a long time all this garbage is being force fed to me and I've had enough, really dislike working for someone else, and having meetings constantly to decide who makes the best tasting donuts for said meetings HHHHHHUUUUURRRRLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!
    I have close family members that have been and still are in businesses of their own, and the thing is creating something you can call your own, being independent, coming up with revenue generating business ideas and then executing them is all very appealing to me. The degree of analness (Bushism?) associated with having to both be able to step back and look at the big picture and yet also successfully micro manage the business is perhaps one of the best methods of self education available, not that there is not room for education, vocational and professional, they all help to form a well rounded individual that with a good dose of common sense and willingness to work, has that chance to succeed.

    Anyway great post :waving:

  9. splatz100

    splatz100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 647

    I think they play Mikey out as being stupid(even though he somewhat is), but in real life he probably isnt nearly as clumsy
  10. Fareway Lawncare

    Fareway Lawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 2,222

    It's Amazing how Girly those guys Are...& there suposed to be Big Bad Bike Dudes No Less !

    Like a Bunch of Women.

    In my Shop the Guy whould be Out on His Azz or Whupped.

Share This Page